FAO in Nigeria

Nigeria, FAO to enhance monitoring of antibiotic use, abuse in plants/animals with guidelines

The CVO Dr. Olaniran Alabi (Sixth from right) poses with Participants at the AMR workshop in Abuja

Abuja- To stem the concerns around the rising abuse of antibiotics and the after effect on plants, animals and the environment in Nigeria, a strategy to ensure responsible use and application is being developed by the government and partners. This is part of the National Action Plan (NAP) to ensure effective surveillance and control of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and Antimicrobial Use (AMU) in the country.

The three-day workshop to streamline the guidelines, convened in Abuja by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) in collaboration with Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), will at the end set the stage for effective national AMR surveillance through the implementation of the NAP.

Recall that world political leaders endorsed a Global Action Plan (GAP) to combat the threat as it spread and undermine the effectiveness of human and veterinary antimicrobial therapeutics. The Food and agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) were joined in a tripartite agreement to support governments strengthen their national systems in this direction.

In Nigeria, antibiotics used in animals and plants are purchased off the counter without expert prescription, this is coupled with the absence of statutory legislation to restrict the use of antimicrobial as growth promoters. Though the importation of antibiotics used as growth promoter in food producing animals have been banned by National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

Growing need for reliable data on AMU to be addressed

The Chief veterinary Officer (CVO) in Nigeria Dr. Olaniran Alabi while declaring the workshop open expressed the commitment of government to ensure the guidelines are properly developed for a seamless implementation of the strategy.

He said, “Nigeria contributes to the World Organization of Animal Health (OIE) global data base on antimicrobial agents intended for use in animals, the data used is based solely on imports. There are other probable sources of data are local manufactures, sales/purchases, prescription and farm records. In order to have near accurate data, there is need to carry out surveillance closer to the consumption level”.

In his goodwill message, the FAO Country Representative Suffyan Koroma said assistance to the government of Nigeria in combating the threat of AMR and AMU will remain sustained in line with the agency’s global mandate, outlined to support the food and agriculture sectors in implementing the Global Action Plan on AMR to minimize the impact on plants and animals.

While endorsing the GAP, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) gave each of the agencies in the tripartite arrangement, tasks such as regularly review of country demand for guidance around NAP monitoring indicators, but the parties will report to their respective governing bodies and provide information to the Interagency Coordination Group established by the UNGA Declaration. FAO’s main role is to monitor implementation and provide feedback to Member Countries.

Participants for the workshop are drawn from the relevant ministries, departments and agencies, institutes, members of the academia and experts in the fields of animal health and agriculture. Once developed, the guidelines would be validated for implementation, paving the way for a national AMR surveillance in animal health and agriculture, from where hitherto unavailable data on the resistant pathogens can be obtained.


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David Karls Tsokar

National Communication Officer

+234 806 616 2876